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TELL CITY - A new gazebo planned for City Hall Park should be ready for dedication in time for opening ceremonies of this summer's Schweizer Fest and Tell City Sesquicentennial. Members of the common council approved plans for the project at their meeting last Monday.
Jon Scheer, a member of Schweizer Fest Inc., said the governing body of the nearly 50-year-old festival has been talking about constructing a gazebo on the west side of the park for several years and decided to move forward now to ensure the project is done in time for this year's fest. Schweizer Fest Inc. and community donors are paying for the gazebo, which will be constructed at no cost to the city. Its design will complement that of the century-old seat of city government.
"We wanted to make sure it fits in with City Hall," Scheer said while showing off an artist's rendition of the 22-foot by 30-foot structure, which will be built where the main Schweizer Fest stage has been located for many years.
The gazebo, which will have a concrete base and synthetic-slate roof, will be fitted with lights and full electrical connections. The gazebo will also used for other events during the year, including Music in the Park concerts.
"I think it's going to be a grand addition to City Hall Park," Mayor Barbara Ewing said, offering her thanks to Schweizer Fest Inc. and others supporting the project.
City council members also gave their OK to a plan to remove up to 15 trees in the park. Some of them are in poor condition, hollow or overmature and could pose a safety concern, Scheer said.
Dead or dying limbs have been removed from time to time before Schweizer Fest, but a review by Indiana Department of Natural Resources Forester Earl McCleerey led to recommendations to remove several trees, including pines ill-suited to the site.
Some of the largest trees block sunlight for smaller growing ones and removing trees already past their prime will help the others.
The park is home to 87 trees, including large cottonwoods and various maples, oaks, pears, poplars and basswoods. None of the 15 trees eyed for removal are believed to have been dedicated in honor of residents - some trees in the park were planted in honor of loved ones - but anyone with concerns about the proposal can call the mayor's office at 547-5511.
Schweizer Fest Inc. is offering to pay for tree removal and site reseeding.